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Plotino - Tratado 30,9 (III, 8, 9) — Como o Intelecto contempla

Enéada III, 8, 9

terça-feira 17 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 8-11: O Intelecto contempla o Uno.

  • Cap. 8 O Intelecto é a primeira contemplação viva, desdobrada desde o Uno
  • Cap. 9,1-39 Como o Intelecto contempla
  • Cap. 9,39-cap. 10 O Uno é princípio e poder de todas as coisas
  • Cap. 11 O Intelecto deseja e alcança o Bem

Míguez

9. Ese es el carácter de la inteligencia y ésa es también la razón por la cual no es lo primero. Conviene que exista más allá de ella una realidad que ya proclaman los razonamientos precedentes, porque, ante todo, la multiplicidad es posterior a la unidad, y si aquélla es número, ésta es principio del número y principio también de la propia multiplicidad. De la multiplicidad real diremos que es la inteligencia y lo inteligible conjuntamente, y las dos cosas a la vez. Pero, si se trata de dos cosas, hay necesidad de un principio anterior a ellas. ¿Admitiremos como tal, y único, a la inteligencia? Pensemos que lo inteligible se mantiene siempre unido a la inteligencia y que, caso de disociársele, la inteligencia no seria lo que es. El principio de que hablamos no es, pues, la inteligencia y escapa a la dualidad; convendrá, por el contrario, que sea algo anterior a la dualidad y que esté más allá de la inteligencia. Pero, ¿qué impide que pueda ser lo inteligible? Porque lo inteligible se encuentra unido a la inteligencia. Mas, si no es la inteligencia ni tampoco lo inteligible, ¿qué es realmente lo que podrá ser? Tendríamos que responder: aquello de lo que proviene la inteligencia y, con ella, lo inteligible. ¿Qué es, en definitiva, y cómo podríamos representarlo? Deberá ser, o algo inteligente, o algo no inteligente. Si es algo inteligente, es también una inteligencia; y si no lo es, tampoco se conocerá a sí mismo. ¿Cómo, pues, rendirle pleitesía? Si decimos que es el Bien y lo más simple, decimos indudablemente la verdad, pero no afirmamos nada evidente y claro hasta tanto no tengamos donde apoyar el pensamiento cuando hablamos de este modo. Porque el conocimiento de todas las cosas es debido a la inteligencia y por ella podemos conocer también el ser que piensa; pero, ¿por qué medio podríamos alcanzar a conocer lo que está más allá de la naturaleza de la inteligencia? Hemos de mostrarlo, en la medida que nos sea posible, y para ello tendremos que contestar: por lo que en nosotros hay de semejante. Porque hay en nosotros, en efecto, algo de El, o mejor aún, no hay lugar donde El no se encuentre, para los seres que en El participan.

Y como se encuentra en todas partes, no hay lugar donde no podamos tener algo de El, si estamos en condición de recibirlo. Es como el sonido que ocupa por completo el silencio espacial. Los hombres que le prestan atención en un punto cualquiera, reciben el sonido entero, aunque, también en otro sentido, no lo reciban del todo. ¿Qué es, pues, lo que nosotros recibimos, al ofrecerle nuestra inteligencia? Conviene, sin duda, que la inteligencia dé marcha atrás y que se abandone, no obstante su carácter dual, a esa realidad inteligible que está más allá de ella. Si quiere ver el primer principio, ya no podrá ser del todo una inteligencia.

Ella es en sí misma una vida primera, una actividad que corre a través de todas las cosas. Pero esta carrera no se realiza, sino que es realizada. Siendo la vida que corre por lodos los seres y que, a la vez, los posee a todos, no desde luego en la plenitud de su extensión sino en la riqueza de sus detalles -en otro caso sería incompleta e ininteligible-, necesariamente provendrá de otra cosa que no corra a través de los seres y que sea el principio de esta misma carrera, de la vida de la inteligencia, de la inteligencia y de todos los seres. No hay que confundir el principio con el conjunto de ios seres, sino que mejor será decir que todos los seres provienen de El. Pero El no es todos los seres, ni ninguno de ellos en particular, para que pueda engendrarlos a todos. No es tampoco una multiplicidad, para que pueda ser también el principio de la multiplicidad; porque en todas partes el ser que engendra es más simple que el ser engendrado. Si, pues, ha engendrado la inteligencia, tendrá que ser más simple que la inteligencia. Si suponemos que el Uno es todas las cosas, una de dos: o es cada una de ellas por separado o es todas ellas en conjunto. Si las reúne a todas, será sin duda posterior a las cosas; si es anterior, será necesariamente diferente a ellas, porque si se diese a la vez que las cosas no podría ser su principio. Conviene, sin embargo, que sea anterior a todas las cosas para que todas las cosas vengan también después de El. Si fuese cada cosa por separa do, cualquiera de ellas sería idéntica a cualquiera otra, y todo a todo, de tal modo que nada presentaría distinción. Por tanto, el Uno no será ninguno de los seres, sino que será anterior a todos ellos.

Bouillet

X. Qu’est donc ce principe ? C’est la puissance de tout (40). S’il n’existait pas, rien ne serait, pas même l’Intelligence qui est la Vie première et universelle. En effet, ce qui est au-dessus de la vie est la cause de la vie. L’Acte de la vie, étant toutes choses, n’est pas le premier principe: il découle de ce principe comme d’une source.

On peut en effet se représenter le premier principe comme une source qui n’a point d’autre origine qu’elle-même, qui se verse à flots dans une multitude de fleuves sans être épuisée par ce qu’elle leur donne, sans même s’écouler, parce que les fleuves qu’elle forme, avant de couler chacun de leur côté, confondent encore en elle leurs eaux, tout en sachant quel cours ils doivent suivre (41).

Qu’on s’imagine encore la vie qui circule dans un grand arbre, sans que son principe sorte de la racine, où il a son siège, pour aller se diviser entre les rameaux : eh répandant partout une vie multiple, le principe demeure cependant en lui-même exempt de toute multiplicité et il en est seulement l’origine (42).

Il n’y a là rien d’étonnant. Pourquoi s’étonner en effet que le multiple sorte de Celui qui n’est pas multiple, que le multiple ne puisse exister sans qu’avant lui existe Celui qui n’est pas multiple ? Le principe ne se partage pas dans l’univers; bien plus, s’il se partageait, l’univers serait anéanti : car il ne peut exister qu’autant que son principe demeure en lui-même, sans se confondre avec le reste (43).

Aussi y a-t-il partout retour à l’Un (44). [Il y a pour chaque chose une unité à laquelle on la ramène (45)] : par conséquent, l’univers doit [être rÂmené à l’unité qui lui est supérieure, et comme cette unité n’est pas absolument simple, elle doit être elle-même rÂmenée à une unité supérieure encore, et ainsi de suite jusqu’à ce qu’on arrive à l’Unité absolument simple, qui ne peut être rÂmenée à aucune autre. Donc, si vous considérez ce qui est un dans un arbre (c’est-à-dire son principe permanent), ce qui est un dans un animal, dans une âme, dans l’univers, vous aurez partout ce qu’il y a de plus puissant et de plus précieux (46). Si vous contemplez enfin l’Unité des choses qui existent véritablement, c’est-à-dire leur principe, leur source, leur puissance [productrice], pouvez-vous douter de sa réalité et 234 croire que ce principe n’est rien ? Sans doute ce principe n’est aucune des choses dont il est le principe : il est tel qu’on ne saurait en affirmer rien, ni l’être, ni l’essence, ni la vie, parce qu’il est supérieur à tout cela. Si vous le saisissez, en faisant abstraction même de l’être, vous serea dans le ravissement (47) ; en dirigeant vers lui votre regard* en l’atteignant et en vous reposant en lui, vous en aurez une intuition une et simple ; vous jugerez de sa grandeur par les choses qui sont après lui et par lui.

Guthrie

TO THE INTELLIGENCE THAT SIMULTANEOUSLY IS THE INTELLIGIBLE THERE MUST BE A SUPREME.

9. (8). Such is the nature of Intelligence. Therefore it does not occupy the first rank. Above it must be a Principle, whose discovery is the object of this discussion. Indeed, the manifold must be posterior to unity. Now intelligence is a number; and the principle of number is unity, and the principle of the number that constitutes unity is absolute Unity. Intelligence is simultaneously intelligence and the intelligible; it is therefore two things at once. If then it be composed of two things, we must seek what is prior to this duality. Could this principle be Intelligence alone? But Intelligence is always bound to the intelligible. If the Principle we seek cannot be bound to the intelligible, neither will it be Intelligence. If then it be not Intelligence, and transcend duality, it must be superior thereto, and thus be above Intelligence. Could it be the Intelligence alone ? But we have already seen that the intelligible is inseparable from Intelligence. If this Principle be neither Intelligence, nor the intelligible, what can it be? It must be the Principle from which are derived both Intelligence and its implied intelligible.

THE BEGETTER OF INTELLIGENCE MUST BE SIMPLER THAN IT, AND IS REACHED NOT BY INTELLIGENT REASONING BUT A SIMPLE INTUITION.

But what is this Principle, and how are we to conceive it? It must be either intelligent or not intelligent. If it be intelligent, it will also be Intelligence. If it be not intelligent, it will be unconscious of itself, and will not be in any way venerable. Though true, it would not be clear or perspicuous to say that it is the Good itself, since we do not yet have an object on which we could fasten our thought when we speak of it. Besides, since the knowledge of the other objects in all beings who can know something intelligent, occurs through Intelligence and lies in Intelligence, by what rapid intellection (or intuition) could we grasp this Principle that is superior to Intelligence? We may answer, by that part of us which resembles it; for there is in us something of it; or rather, it is in all things that participate in Him. Everywhere you approach the Good, that which in you can participate receives something of it. Take the illustration of a voice in a desert, and the human ears that may be located there. Wherever you listen to this voice, you will grasp it entirely in one sense, and not entirely in another sense. How then would we grasp something by approximating our intelligence (to the Good) ? To see up there the Principle it seeks, Intelligence must, so to speak, return backwards, and, forming a duality, it must somehow exceed itself; that means, it would have to cease being the Intelligence of all intelligible things. Indeed, intelligence is primary life, and penetration of all things, not (as the soul does) by a still actualizing movement, but by a movement which is ever already accomplished and past. Therefore, if Intelligence be life, which is the penetration of all things, if it possess all things distinctly, without confusion — for otherwise it would possess them in an imperfect and incomplete manner — it must necessarily proceed from a superior Principle which, instead of being in motion, is the principle of motion (by which Intelligence runs through all things), of life, of intelligence, and of all things. The Principle of all things could not be all things, it is only their origin. Itself is neither all things, nor any particular thing, because it begets everything; neither is it a multitude, for it is the principle of multitude. Indeed that which begets is always simpler than that which is begotten. Therefore if this principle beget Intelligence, it necessarily is simpler than Intelligence. On the theory that it is both one and all, we have an alternative, that it is all things because it is all things at once, or that it is everything individually. On the one hand, if it be all things at once, it will be posterior to all things; if on the contrary it be prior to all things, it will be different from all things. For if the One coexisted with all things, the One would not be a principle; but the One must be a principle, and must exist anteriorly to all things, if all things are to originate from it. On the other hand, if we say that the One is each particular thing, it will thereby be identical with every particular thing; later it will be all things at once, without being able to discern anything. Thus the One is none of these particular things, being prior to all things.

MacKenna

9. Clearly a Being of this nature is not the primal existent; there must exist that which transcends it, that Being [the Absolute], to which all our discussion has been leading.

In the first place, Plurality is later than Unity. The Intellectual-Principle is a number [= the expression of a plurality]; and number derives from unity: the source of a number such as this must be the authentically One. Further, it is the sum of an Intellectual-Being with the object of its Intellection, so that it is a duality; and, given this duality, we must find what exists before it.

What is this?

The Intellectual-Principle taken separately, perhaps?

No: an Intellect is always inseparable from an intelligible object; eliminate the intelligible, and the Intellectual-Principle disappears with it. If, then, what we are seeking cannot be the Intellectual-Principle but must be something that rejects the duality there present, then the Prior demanded by that duality must be something on the further side of the Intellectual-Principle.

But might it not be the Intelligible object itself?

No: for the Intelligible makes an equally inseparable duality with the Intellectual-Principle.

If, then, neither the Intellectual-Principle nor the Intelligible Object can be the First Existent, what is?

Our answer can only be:

The source of both.

What will This be; under what character can we picture It?

It must be either Intellective or without Intellection: if Intellective it is the Intellectual-Principle; if not, it will be without even knowledge of itself - so that, either way, what is there so august about it?

If we define it as The Good and the wholly simplex, we will, no doubt, be telling the truth, but we will not be giving any certain and lucid account of it as long as we have in mind no entity in which to lodge the conception by which we define it.

Yet: our knowledge of everything else comes by way of our intelligence; our power is that of knowing the intelligible by means of the intelligence: but this Entity transcends all of the intellectual nature; by what direct intuition, then, can it be brought within our grasp?

To this question the answer is that we can know it only in the degree of human faculty: we indicate it by virtue of what in ourselves is like it.

For in us, also, there is something of that Being; nay, nothing, ripe for that participation, can be void of it.

Wherever you be, you have only to range over against this omnipresent Being that in you which is capable of drawing from It, and you have your share in it: imagine a voice sounding over a vast waste of land, and not only over the emptiness alone but over human beings; wherever you be in that great space you have but to listen and you take the voice entire - entire though yet with a difference.

And what do we take when we thus point the Intelligence?

The Intellectual-Principle in us must mount to its origins: essentially a thing facing two ways, it must deliver itself over to those powers within it which tend upward; if it seeks the vision of that Being, it must become something more than Intellect.

For the Intellectual-Principle is the earliest form of Life: it is the Activity presiding over the outflowing of the universal Order - the outflow, that is, of the first moment, not that of the continuous process.

In its character as Life, as emanation, as containing all things in their precise forms and not merely in the agglomerate mass - for this would be to contain them imperfectly and inarticulately - it must of necessity derive from some other Being, from one that does not emanate but is the Principle of Emanation, of Life, of Intellect and of the Universe.

For the Universe is not a Principle and Source: it springs from a source, and that source cannot be the All or anything belonging to the All, since it is to generate the All, and must be not a plurality but the Source of plurality, since universally a begetting power is less complex than the begotten. Thus the Being that has engendered the Intellectual-Principle must be more simplex than the Intellectual-Principle.

We may be told that this engendering Principle is the One-and-All.

But, at that, it must be either each separate entity from among all or it will be all things in the one mass.

Now if it were the massed total of all, it must be of later origin than any of the things of which it is the sum; if it precedes the total, it differs from the things that make up the total and they from it: if it and the total of things constitute a co-existence, it is not a Source. But what we are probing for must be a Source; it must exist before all, that all may be fashioned as sequel to it.

As for the notion that it may be each separate entity of the All, this would make a self-Identity into a what you like, where you like, indifferently, and would, besides, abolish all distinction in things themselves.

Once more we see that this can be no thing among things but must be prior to all things.